Diagram – Balloon catheter

Balloon catheter – a tool to remove clots without major surgery. Since its first use in 1961, the balloon catheter has saved or improved the lives of millions of patients.

minimally invasive surgical tools

  • Fogarty’s patents for 80 medical devices including Embolectomy Catheter, Modular intraluminal prostheses construction and methods, Catheter with corkscrew-like balloon

What do you think?

  • Ask – Blood vessels are tiny pipes throughout the body for moving blood. If a blood clot forms, it can move along in the blood stream. If it gets to a thin spot in the blood vessel, the clot can get stuck, causing a blockage and preventing normal blood flow. This can cause serious health issues, including disability or even death. Can blood clots be prevented? How can the clot be removed if they do form and get stuck?
  • Imagine – There are many other examples of pipes and blockages outside the body. There are procedures for clearing blockages, too. Could some of these ideas be used or adapted to for clearing blocked blood vessels? How can a sweeper be inserted into the tiny blood vessel? How can it be expanded in the vessel to sweep out the blood clot?
  • Design, Build – One of the ways to clear a blocked pipe is to run a sweeper through the pipe to remove the blockage. The balloon catheter works like this. The sweeper can be inserted in its compact form. When it is in place, it is expanded or inflated like a balloon to the size and shape of the blood vessel. Then the medical staff can use this device to clear the blocckage, deflate the device and remove it.
  • Improve – Over the years the techniques and materials have improved, saving lives and improving health outcomes for millions of patients.

Learn more…